The Soft Pack

Strapped

Written by: PP on 27/01/2013 21:00:40

Los Angeles based The Soft Pack have been receiving much hype lately, thanks to their retro-oriented combination of garage, indie, and alternative rock that's suitable for audiences from a wide variety of backgrounds. Their sophomore album "Strapped" is a solid example of just that, putting together ideas and influences from bands as different as Bruce Springsteen, The Strokes, and Sharks into a dreamy sound, so fans from all of those styles should find themselves at home here.

The band opens with "Saratoga", a classy song that could've been written by Sharks, the British band heavily influenced by both Gaslight Anthem and Bruce Springsteen. Later on, "Bobby Brown" gives a completely different take on the same sound, with smooth-and-sexy guitar lines recalling Minus The Bear's "Omni", though less math rock oriented of course. Then you have a song like "Second Look", which delves more into hipster-ish retro rock with a distinct indie-flavor, referencing The Strokes on their more experimental material from "Angels". All of it is delivered with a dreamy flavor, so although we're technically in garage rock territory, the sound is smooth and doesn't have the characteristic rattle that the genre normally offers.

The last half of the album is quieter and less Springsteen-ish in its guitar style. Here's where the band loses me, because they go too much for a classy, contemporary sound instead of playing to their strengths of stadium-sized melodies on the first half of the album. But that's just because I prefer the songs that are more influenced by Sharks/Springsteen than the more experimental material the band presents here. Either way, "Strapped" ensures we'll be hearing a lot more about The Soft Pack in the future.

Download: Saratoga, They Say
For the fans of: Sharks, Bruce Springsteen, The Strokes
Listen: Facebook

Release date 01.10.2012
Mexican Summer / Cooperative Music

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